Why Dr. Howe contends that faith in God’s Word is reasonable
Above, Dr. Richard Howe on The One Minute Apologist on youtube.com.
June 2017 – Faith and reason: can they co-exist? Absolutely. In fact, faith in the God of the Bible is reasonable, contends Dr. Richard Howe, emeritus professor of philosophy and apologetics at Southern Evangelical Seminary.
Howe travels the U.S. and overseas, teaching in conferences, churches, and university campuses on issues related to defending Christian truth and publicly debating unbelievers.
In October, in conjunction with the premiere of AFA’s new documentary The God Who Speaks, Howe will debate Dan Barker, co-president of the well known Freedom from Religion Foundation, an atheist organization that describes its purpose as “protecting the constitutional principle of the separation of state and church.” (See below.)
In a recent interview with AFA Journal, Howe discussed the role and value of apologetics in a Christian’s life and ministry. Below are excerpts from that interview.
AFA Journal: What is apologetics?
Richard Howe: Christian apologetics is that area of study aimed at the reasonable defense of the truthfulness of Christianity. The term arises from 1 Peter 3:15 which instructs us to “… always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you … ”
Apologetics covers a wide range of issues from the deeply philosophical like the nature of truth, the nature of human knowing, the existence and nature of God, and the grounding of ethics; to historical issues concerning the historical reliability of the Bible and its claims, most notably the resurrection of Jesus Christ; to scientific issues like creation versus evolution.
AFAJ: What is the value of apologetics in evangelism, in cultural issues, and in discipleship?
RH: Often when we share the gospel there is the need to deal with existing intellectual barriers that are impediments to a person considering that Christianity could be true in the first place.
But the need for apologetics extends beyond reaching the unbeliever. There is also the need for those who have already come to faith in Christ to have that faith firmly grounded in both sound reason and sound biblical truth. Otherwise, the motivation and effectiveness of the Christian community can be evacuated to the point that we are no longer salt and light in our world.
AFAJ: What would you say to a Christian who wants to prepare to defend the faith, but doubts if he is up to the task or doesn’t know how to get started?
RH: Romans 12:3 tells us that “… God has dealt to each one a measure of faith …” I take this to mean, among other things, that we each have different ways in which God would have us involved in the “good fight.” Thus, while not every Christian is expected (or necessarily even equipped) to engage in apologetics full-time, the 1 Peter command seems to apply to all of us within our sphere of influence and according to the measure of grace dealt to us, and by means of the spiritual gift given to each of us.
I recommend getting started with books by my mentor, Norman Geisler, and my good friends, Frank Turek and J. Warner Wallace. (See here.) Drs. Turek and Geisler’s I Don’t Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist is an excellent “a to z’ treatment of apologetics. Dr. Turek’s sequel Stealing from God focuses on the question of God’s existence.
▶ SES.edu 800-77-TRUTH
Is there a God who speaks?
AFA’s new documentary, The God Who Speaks, will debut at the National Conference on Christian Apologetics at Southern Evangelical Seminary, October 13-14 in Charlotte, North Carolina (SES.edu).
In support of the conference theme, “Pursuing A Faith that Thinks,” as well as AFA’s new film, Howe and Barker will debate the question: Is there a God who speaks? Consistent with Romans 1:20, Howe will contend that the physical world demonstrates the existence and certain attributes of the Creator God.
The God Who Speaks promises to be a landmark feature-length documentary that verifies the evidence of the Bible’s inspiration and authority. Making a powerful case for the total trustworthiness of the Bible, some of the most highly respected voices in evangelicalism appear in the film.